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Project information

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Following the internationally acclaimed Love’s Labour’s Lost as part of the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival, Deafinitely Theatre has been invited to return to the world-famous Globe for yet another landmark production – A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

June 2014 - June 2014

Charity information: Deafinitely Theatre

Deafinitely Theatre logo
  • Need


    Research carried out by Scottish based Solar Bear company found that ‘Deaf people felt that Shakespeare was tied up with hearing culture, and had no relation to them or their experiences of the world. Partly because of schooling, and partly because of the language and previous ways that it had been staged, Deaf people felt that Shakespeare was not accessible for them.’

    This project aims to address this and demonstrate that Shakespeare can be made accessible and appealing to a deaf audience.


    A bilingual production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in British Sign Language and spoken English will help make Shakespeare accessible and relevant to a new audience as well as providing mainstream hearing theatregoers with an unseen staging of the play from a deaf perspective. In doing so we will bridge two usually separate theatre cultures and audiences.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Make the arts more accessible by developing new audiences


    » Present a bilingual version of A Midsummer Night's Dream for 4 performances at the Globe
    » Provide workshops with local groups on using British Sign Language in Shakespeare

    What success will look like

    Feedback from audiences will be collated to understand how many were deaf or hearing and how many were new to our work, the venue and to Shakespeare in performance.

    Aim 2

    Support emerging artists


    » Provide employment for 8 deaf actors
    » Provide a high-profile performance opportunity and invite other theatre professionals to see their work

    What success will look like

    The actors receive a positive response from audiences and reviewers. We will also track the careers of those taking part to see what direct benefits were as a result of the project

  • Impact


    This production will significantly raise the profile of deaf theatre and actors in support of our vision where deaf people are a valued part of the national theatre landscape, recognised for the excellence of their work. It will demonstrate how deaf and hearing can work together creatively to overcome any cultural and communication barriers.


    A production of this scale requires a substantial budget due to the number of cast and rehearsal time needed. For this we are pursuing a wide range of funding sources, such as trusts and foundations.

    This particular appeal is to support two specific areas of the production - rehearsal costs and costumes.


    Our website will host a profile of the project that will include photos and reviews. We will also create a detailed report on the project that will made available to major donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £6,190

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,990 Rehearsal Space 5 weeks x 6 days x £133
      £2,200 Costumes 22 characters x £100
  • Background


    Rehearsals will take place at Diorama Arts Studios and the performances will take place at Shakespeare's Globe.


    Deaf actors and audiences, BSL students, audiences will little previous experience of Shakespeare, the Globe's regular audience and general theatre going audiences.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    When Deafinitely Theatre launched in 2002, with a short run of a devised theatre piece at London’s Gate Theatre, audiences queued in the street for return tickets to this sold-out premiere. By 2006, we were invited to open our first central London play at Soho Theatre for 3-weeks attracting over 1,000 people both deaf and hearing. Our work has placed deaf arts centre stage and many actors, writers and directors, currently working in the industry, gained their first experience with us.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Deafinitely Theatre’s artistic director, Paula Garfield, will manage the overall vision and leadership of the project.